Amateur Telescope Making & other do it yourself projects

ATM & other do it yourself projects

How to make an image intensified eyepieces using old tank image intensified tubes – re-post from 2009

In 2009, Damian and I successfully managed to make image intensified eyepieces out of old tank image intensified tubes. Below are links to PDF files for the instructions on how to make those eyepieces.

Andy

Instructions for making the eyepieces:

Instructions-making-image-intensified-eyepiece-2009 (PDF)

Image-Intensifier-Info-Instructions-Nov-2009 (PDF)

Photos of the eyepiece and its construction, and an excuse to re-print a photograph of myself looking a lot younger (with hair!):

Examples of images taken through these eyepieces auing hand held smartphone in 2017:

The following three photographs are Double Cluster in Perseus/M81 and M82 in Ursa Major/M42 Orion Nebula.

Full details of the observing session, equipment used and objects in photographs above can be seen below:

Making a heated computer mat for use outside

Now I am in the business of taking astrophotography, this means my favourite laptop is sittong outside in the cold and damp.

Hence, the need to create a heated computer mat to keep it comfy! Also stops it turning off in the cold.

Composed of two x vivsrium heating mats and one of those plastic mats with lots of holes for putting pots on when you take them off the stove – the mats produce vs. 13W each and the holey mat covering them allows heat through and any moisture to drain away as well as ensuring plenty of ventilation for bottom of laptop.

Andy

mobile base for EQ6/HEQ5 completed

At last! My mobile base for my EQ6 is completed. Someone will note slightly extended legs and wonder why…..answer is that base is designed to take either EQ6 as is currently on it or HEQ5- and the tripod on HEQ5 (same as EQ5 tripod but different from EQ6 tripod) has long legs and wider spread than EQ6 tripod.

Andy

Painting/staining of new HEQ5/EQ6 mobile base with Cuprinol now completed

Two layers of Cuprinol later (left over from my wife’s fence painting project earlier in the year), the new mobile wooden HEQ5/EQ6 will be ready for vanishing with yacht varnish once it dries – and with high humidity levels at present and low temperatures I think it might take a few days before it properly dries out from the water based Cuprinol. That’s the price you pay for using left over stuff!

Andy

Making base for HEQ5/EQ6 Andy & Alan+Angella from RAG 3/9/2019

Now that I am doing astrophotography, it is important that I create stable, mobile base to allow me to roll the mount in and out of the log cabin. The more that can remain set-up between sessions, the easier it will be to image – especially important in the UK as weather liable to deteriorate again quickly.

Angella & Alan came around today and helped me build a fantastic base – thanks Angella & Alan!

Andy

Paul McKay’s right angle polarscope viewer for HEQ5 Pro/EQ6 Pro mount

Paul has come up with this ingenious solution to the problem of a cricked neck when looking through the polarscope on these popular Sky Watcher mounts.

The photos below show how the 90 degree viewer and fitting are assembled, noting the nut used to clamp it together.
Paul has very kindly made one of these for me using a second hand Nikon DR3 right angle camera attachment off ebay (approx. £6). He has made the hole in the plastic fitting a tight fit on the short thread of the DR3 such that no nut is needed. He has learnt how to carefully enlage the bore of the plastic fitting so it is a snug fit in the polarscope eyepiece…a bit tedious because it’s trial and error and must be done very carefully to ensure that the bore is not accidently made too large. Patience needed and lots of cups ot tea! The finished product is a tight fit and needs screwing onto the thread of the viewer. It should be a snug push fit onto the polarscope eyepiece. Paul used a 32mm Waste Compression End Plug costing £1.50 from “Discount DIY Store”, Swadlincote High Street, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, UK.
In use: Fit collar to viewer first, then push it onto polarscope eyepiece as far as possible – see photo. Try different angular positions if its too tight to go on. The collar should go over the eyepiece and over the polarscope tube as well.
To focus polarscope, Paul has found that he needs to unscrew eyepiece about 5mm so he fitted an 0-ring onto the thread for eyepiece to clamp against and keep eyepiece tight in the focused position.

Andy